TATA invests in tertiary education of future African leaders

As part of its annual Postgraduate Scholarship Programme for the 2018/19 academic year, TATA awarded 53 academically and financially deserving students at four South African universities with scholarships totaling more than R2.3-million.

“We believe that businesses are powerful constituents of society,” says Len Brand, CEO of TATA International in Africa. “The TATA Group’s way of conducting business includes a commitment to support the communities in which we operate. Good corporate citizenship is a critical mission for TATA, one that is at the heart of who we are, how we think, and everything we do.”

“In Africa, our efforts to promote the social and economic development of local communities are focused on three main areas: education and skills development; entrepreneurship; and health initiatives.”

Since the programme’s inception in 2006, TATA has sponsored over R10-million in scholarships, assisting more than 250 young postgraduates to date.

“In line with the business ethos and core values of TATA, with its strong culture of uplifting society and giving back, our objective is to help increase the number of young people primed to take up leadership roles in business, government, and civil society. The TATA Postgraduate Scholarship Programme is one of our flagship education initiatives.”

Tata has partnered with Nelson Mandela University (NMU), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), and University of the Free State (UFS) to support postgraduate students who demonstrated academic competence and required financial assistance.

“Education is extremely empowering and transformative,” says Brand, himself a graduate of the University of Pretoria (Tuks), with a B.Sc in Industrial Engineering. “It has an amazing ripple effect, with the potential to not only uplift individuals, but the communities in which they live and work, and ultimately society at large.”

The scholarships are not faculty-specific and a wide range of candidates are supported across several academic fields, allowing the recipients to freely pursue their chosen specialisations. Scholarship recipients are not contractually bound to TATA once they complete their studies.

Established in 1994, Tata International in Africa is headquartered in Johannesburg where it operates as the nodal point for TATA businesses across the continent. “Most people know TATA as an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company, with headquarters in Mumbai. Here in Africa, TATA employs over 1, 200 people.

“By nurturing South Africa’s rich pool of young talent through this annual investment, and growing a culture of giving back,” concludes Brand, “TATA is committed to making a significant and sustainable impact on the continent.”

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